Tag Archives: blogging

Dear High School Crush

Not our actual high school. No romance was here.

I hope you’re doing well. We haven’t talked in a couple of years, except for that random facebook message you sent me semi-recently which I responded to coldly just to let you know that whatever kind of crazy non-romance we had between us is definitely over. Thanks for the chance to reminisce.

We could have ruled the school, you and I, you with your skinny arms and me with my daring sweatshirt/dangly earring combo. I thought the two went together because the white bangles in my earrings matched the white letters on my sweatshirt. Years later, part of me still wants to believe that they do.

A couple of months before we parted forever, we had a little spat regarding a certain writing instrument. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the details. As a result of this disagreement, I believe I posted an angry message on your wall, which you deleted.

In return, I erased all of the facebook messages you had sent me in which you asked for advice in another romantic relationship. I’m not sure this had the desired effect on you that I wished it to, but it does keep me from reminiscing too deeply and rereading all of them. Perhaps I should be thankful.

On that recent trip down memory lane, however, I saw that I had called one of the teachers at our school a “skanky ho betch” in the last message I sent you. For that, I’m truly sorry. I assure you that I have grown personally and that my derisive names are much more sophisticated now, dummy.

For a while after graduation I would stalk you on facebook. And then one time we ran into each other at the University of Oklahoma’s freshman orientation, when I was visiting a real friend. That was the last time I talked to you, besides the facebook message. You didn’t confess your like for me then, and I’ll admit I was disappointed.

You and I both know what happened between us, the tale of unspoken like, how I would look forward to my classes with you, how I practiced your signature and watched for you at your car. Okay, maybe you didn’t know, and that’s probably for the best. At any rate, I wish you all good things in life, and I’m doing just fine myself. I only cried three times in the last week, stress-ate 6 bowls of ice cream, and compulsively cleaned once. And I read a book.

We’re both going to make it, I hope. Maybe we could even be friends. That is, if you’re as cool as you were as a junior in high school.

Best,

Emily

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The Internet Doesn’t Need Me

Please?

A couple of days ago I moved into a less horrifyingly-dirty apartment, which is great. Unfortunately, there is no internet due to a freak accident. The good news is that we’re having a dude or ma’am come pour us some more on Saturday, but the bad news is that they’re coming on Saturday, not now.

I’ve been hooked on the internet ever since Mom took the sisters and me to the library so we could play Neopets for hours on end, pissing off people who were trying to look for jobs and/or porn. Just like many others from the I-Can’t-Complain-But-I-Still-Do generation, attachment to the internet characterizes my hyper-socialized existence. Smart phones are whipped out at every chance, email and facebook checked as routinely as blinking, and barrages of tweets barrel down our throats every other second. Much of what I call “work,” I do from my computer, and using the internet is my only hobby.

Living without the internet, albeit for only a couple of days, has forced me to adapt to what I used to believe was an untenable situation, and I’ve come to a startling conclusion, one that has rocked me to the core and that I can’t wait to forget.

The internet doesn’t need me.

Through my forced detachment, I found that because of the massive amounts of time I spend communicating and throwing tweets out there and cultivating facebook for notifications, I came to believe that people needed me to be out there talking to them, that things would go horribly awry if I weren’t there, that #searchingforemily would start trending if I hadn’t tweeted in x amount of hours, that my emails would pile up and every employer I ever contacted would get back to me and demand a response within an hour and then give up when I was incommunicado.

What I did find was a different situation altogether. When I made it to a café yesterday at 8:15 AM, eager to see what kinds of crucial communication I had missed, I found that not much had happened.  I had one personal email to respond to. Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t need the internet attached at the bellybutton in order to maintain relationships with people I loved, and that for the most part, things go on without me pretty well out there on the web. Most importantly, I learned that more internet does not mean better internet. It means more aimless wandering, the endless searching for the next shock or haha.

Will I take these lessons and make them a part of my life when internet does come home roost forever, or will I greet it and kiss it on both cheeks and say welcome dear one  I have missed you let us never be parted again? I think we all know the answer to that question. Things will probably go back to normal and I will waste time and not get enough done. But at least I know that I’m the only one that really cares.

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Sage Advice for Young Writers and Bloggers

Renee of Life in the Boomer Lane is a former hula hoop champion and a writer that keeps a hilarious blog, one of those blogs vampire blogs wish they could suck dry. Recently I asked her to write something for Snotting Black on the advice she would give to a 23-year-old wanting to be a writer or a blogger. She graciously agreed and sent me a really beautiful piece that I found touching, informative, and jealousy-inducing because of its depth and wittiness. May it invoke similarly complicated responses in all of you.

I’m not worthy.

Sage Advice for Young Writers and Bloggers

The first thing I did when Emily asked me to guest write a post for her blog was to be amazed that anyone would want to take such a risk.  The second was to look at the topic: what I would tell a 23-year-old who wanted to be a writer or a blogger.  I did a quick calculation and discovered that in the intervening decades between age 23 and where I am now, I have lost approximately  239 lbs and gained approximately 259. My hair has changed color and style 41 times, and my bra size has gone from 34B to 34D. My shoe size and hat size have remained constant, but my height has decreased by 1.5 inches.  Two husbands appeared, but not at the same time. Small beings in my immediate vicinity have appeared, gotten larger, and eventually disappeared. One has now produced two small beings of her own, thereby assuring me that in the distant future, after I am gone, someone will look at photos of me and wonder why people looked so funny back then.

Writingwise, the decades have contained fiction and non-fiction, some self-published, some published by others.  A couple contests were won. A short story was read on NPR.  Many rejections were collected. A blog was started a little over two years ago.  None of my writing has made me famous, and very little of it has made me any money at all.  All of it seemed of value when originally written, but not all of it withstood the test of time.

So, back to the topic: What would I tell a 23-year-old now, about wanting to be a writer and/or a blogger?

The good news is that you are coming of age at a time in which anyone has easy access to self-publishing.  The bad news is that you are coming of age at a time in which anyone has easy access to self-publishing.  Chances are overwhelming that the only way you will see your work in print will be because you put it there, not because you are discovered.  Chances are also overwhelming that you won’t get paid for what you write.  There are way too many writers out there, really good writers, happily giving their words away.

Most people who are currently successful in publishing are online.  Print magazine subscriptions are plummeting, while Huff/Post is thriving.  The Kindle has passed the vibrator as the #1 sex toy for women.  So throw out your dildos, and whatever you do, do it online.

Just because you have a passion to write doesn’t mean that the world is waiting for your words. They are too busy stockpiling water for the Armageddon or watching Bachelor Pad 2 or standing in line for the next iPhone.  Whether you have a publisher or not, the only person who will market your book is you. If you don’t create a demand for your book, there will be none.

The easiest way for a literary agent to assess the quality of your work is to ignore it.  Literary agencies throw unread manuscripts into large boxes and anyone who has time on their hands can take free reading home.  Few people do. If you want someone to actually read what you submit, you are going to have to be very creative and very diligent. In other words, you are going to have to do more than send out query letters.

Like book writing, people aren’t waiting for your blog posts, either. Building up a blog readership can be ridiculously time consuming, and, just when you are patting yourself on the back over having 1000 followers, you discover someone who has 10,000 or 100,000 followers and they aren’t famous, either.

Freshly Pressed is like a one night stand.  A hot one night stand, yes.  A one night stand that will make you shriek and rock you to your toes and back again. But it won’t last longer than that.  You won’t be able to take it home to introduce it to your parents.  It might ask you out again for more one night stands, but on subsequent romps, no matter how spectacular, some part of you will know the deal.  You will know that in the morning, you’ll be alone again, and Freshly Pressed will be gone, off to fondle another blogger.

The bottom line is that you won’t listen to any of this because you really, really believe in the depths of your soul that you have what it takes to be a writer.  You believe that what you write will be the next Big Thing.  You believe that the world will take a texting break in order to read what you have written.  And thank goodness for that.  Because after the marriage and the mortgage and the mayhem of child rearing, you might set the writing aside, in favor of more pedestrian pursuits.  And that would be a shame.  Because you might have been the one to beat the system.

P.S. from Snotting Black: Isn’t she great? Visit her blog! Give her a high-five!

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An Open Apology to Innocent Girls Everywhere

No no no, it’s alright. There there, I’ll get you a pony. It’s going to be fine.

Dear girls and a few boys,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you, for the unwanted nightmares, for the blind fear you’ve probably felt as a direct result of my blog. I’m sorry for the bizarre and uncomfortable thoughts I’ve exposed you to and the resulting compulsive habits you developed such as refusing to turn on faucet in the bathroom without a parent nearby or googling with your eyes closed. I’m sorry your pigtails have been electrified with terror and your precious eyes bugged out in horror. Careful, you’ll get your face stuck like that.

I hope you know I never meant to harm you.

I’ve been writing this blog for a little over a year now.When I first started, I was kind of like you: I knew nothing. I was an naïve blogger that just wanted to talk about her life, punctuated. I didn’t know how search engines worked, or the fact that far into the future, the vast majority of the hits on my website would come from children searching for images of my little pony and Belle the princess from Beauty and the Beast.

How was I supposed to know that Google’s crazy mixed up logarithm would rank my site as being an appropriate resource for images of Belle and My Little Pony? Did the logarithm know the secret behind the pictures? Did it know the content of the actual article written behind the images? Oh the humanity.

An elementary school girl (or boy) searches for Belle on google and unknowingly clicks on my site. The image is indeed the fair lass clad in yellow, but the article is one in which I pitch her and Beatrix Kiddo, of Kill Bill fame, in a fight to the death. All I have to say is: I’m sorry. I didn’t know you would be reading it. But if you did read it, you might as well tell me what you thought of it. Was it too much? Just right? Okay okay you’re scarred I get it.

And for all of you lovely lads and lasses searching for any variation of pink pony or little pink pony or any adorable construction therein, no doubt you have found my snippet of a story called “The land of tiny pink ponies and tiny pink pony eaters.” In this story, the adorable, glittery, pony playthings lived in constant fear of being devoured or falling into a poisonous river that dissolved their cute pony flesh. Girls, boys, what did you think of the story? Too gruesome? How do you usually plan your ponies’ deaths? You don’t? Oh.

So I just wanted to say I’m sorry to all those budding minds out there. It’s not my fault I have no idea how Search Engine Optimization works. Should I write a letter to the Google bot and tell it to remove my site from that search? Do I fax something somewhere?

Maybe the kids would know how to do it.

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Dear Blog, I’ll Always Love You

Faces blurred to protect identity. Photo credit: Jen Dillender

Hey blog,

How’s it going? Did you hear my sister finally got married?! The wedding was stereotypically beautiful and all that crap. I should have stolen her wedding presents while I had the chance. Now I’m going to Colorado and then San Francisco and who knows when I’ll be back to use her new ice cream maker and name-brand kitchen ware.

I got blood on my bridesmaid dress. I’m pretty sure it was my own. It’s okay because I sucked it out—turns out saliva works pretty well on fresh blood stains. I’ll tell you how it happened later.

My stress-ear cleaning needs to stop. I gave myself another ear infection, but this time it’s on the other side. I sure hope these pills I found help. Do you crave human blood too?

Sorry I haven’t had time for you lately and won’t be around for the next week. It’s not because I don’t love you. I really do, but you see, sometimes I have to go places and hang out with family and be outdoors. You know I’d rather be spending that time with you in a cave, but other people just don’t understand me the way you do.

I’ll always be yours, and you”ll always be mine.

Love,

Emily

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